US President Donald Trump has accused the slain Iranian military leader Qassam Soleimani of being responsible for plotting terrorist attacks in New Delhi.
“Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London,” Trump said on Friday at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Speaking about the missile strike he ordered to kill Soleimani, he said, “Today we remember and honour the victims of Soleimani’s many atrocities and we take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over.”
While Trump did not specify the plots in India, he may have been referring to a 2012 bombing of the car of the wife of the Israeli defence attaché to India.
Tal Yehoshua Koren was injured and underwent surgery to remove the shrapnel and her driver and two bystanders were also hurt in the attack on February 13, 2012. Their vehicle had a bomb attached with a magnet.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran was behind that attack and another attempted attack using similar technique in Georgia.
The New Delhi case has not been resolved so far and a conclusive link to Iran has not been made by India.
Trump alleged that Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years.
News reports at that time said that the attack was carried out by Iran in retaliation for the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan in Teheran using a bomb with a magnet attached to his car, allegedly by Israelis.
An Indian journalist, Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi, was arrested on March 6 that year and accused of being a part of a conspiracy to carry out the attack and held under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
He was released on bail by the Supreme Court in October on the condition that he does not go abroad.
According to news reports at that time, Delhi police alleged that he had carried out reconnaissance for the Iranians who carried out the attack.
In his address on the killing of Soleimani in Iraq on Thursday, Trump said, “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”
He listed several alleged attacks directed by Soleimani and carried out by the Quds Force and allied militias.
“For years, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its ruthless Quds Force — under Soleimani’s leadership — has targeted, injured, and murdered hundreds of American civilians and servicemen,” Trump said.
He blamed Soleimani for the recent attacks on US targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four American servicemen, as well as the assault on the US embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.